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Am I doing too much?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mybikeisblack, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. A little back story, I was in a band, we broke up, a few months down the line, I got every original member back in the band.

    Now, fast forward to now, I furnish a place to practice. Its on my land, its a barn, so its rent free for everyone. I even cover the heating costs as the barn has a room built in to the inside, its pretty nice. I pretty much have all the equipment to jam with. One guitarist uses my guitar because his isnt very good. The other guitarist shows up when he feels like it. The drummer never shows up, or is always late (i posted a whole thread on this) and the vocalist is the only one who doesn't really irk me in anyway. Also, with this band space, they use my pa equipment, I had it carpeted, I'm the only one who keeps the place clean. I even brought a fridge over there, and they drink all my water. Now, I dont mind all this, but I never get a thank you or even a sign of appreciation. The guitarist and vocalist are two of my best friends, so I don't want to ruin a relationship by voicing my opinion. Those two also dont have a license, or car, so I have to pick them up and take them home from practice. I get thank yous from that, but thanks yous dont pay the gas. Am I doing too much? I'm the only one with professional equipment, I even have professional guitar equipment. I'm in this band because I love music and would love for this to be my career, but I feel like the guys I'm with are holding me back in a way. I know their hearts are in the right place, but it seems like no one is willing to make that jump to better our sound or help me out with things. None of them know proper ways of writing songs, I have to always put in my input on how they should structure writing them. I'm sorry if this is all jumbled up, but I'm nearing my end up being fed up with them all. Some guys are better than others, some not. I'd like to know what you guys would do in this situation? Is it wrong to leave the band because I want to be a successful musician and I think they may hold me back? Should I get my head out of my butt? Anything is appreciated. Thanks
  2. HometownLetdown


    Sep 14, 2011
  3. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Sounds all to familiar... your situation has been experienced by many, many of us. You're not the first and wont be the last.
    Friends are good to have but..
    If you want to be serious about playing music, it is mandatory to find like-minded individuals who are as serious or moreso than yourself. They must have a professional attitude, abilities and the gear to match. Keep looking
  4. Best answer I could have gotten. I take everything so serious. I've started learning music theory and taking vocal lessons just so I can do more. I think the vocalist has potential, hes only 18, dropped out at 15 and is now paying the price because no one will give him a job. The lead guitarist though, I think is just along for the ride. The other guitarist, he was our drummer and had switched to guitar. He had professional drum equipment but is now having trouble finding himself some guitar equipment. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses for them, but I just see the positive in the two of them. I don't see anything good coming from out lead guitarist.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    +1. If your the only one getting better at your craft why are you playing with them? Sounds like they are dead weight...

    Personally I like to be the worst player in all my bands, I feel it brings the best out of me to keep up.
  6. Ojay


    Jan 25, 2012
    Whitley Bay
    oh man, be swift and scarily honest. you know the answer to this one bro :)
  7. RL Scott

    RL Scott

    Nov 21, 2011
    Like Ojay says, you know the answer to this one, but Every time I'm in this position I end up evaluating my own ideas of what i want from music and life in general.

    Personally, I would first try the threat of quitting. Explain how much you want to keep this thing going but that you need some help. Youngsters will never respond well to orders, but they generally like the idea of doing something to help out. If you let them know there are things bothering you and if nothing is done, the band's done, I'm willing to bet you'll see at least a little bit of improvement.
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'd bail. This doesn't sound like a situation that will go anywhere fruitful if continued.
  9. All good responses here. I'm going to sit down with them and explain my concerns and take it from there.
  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You and the vocalist need to do what my vocalist and I are doing...

    Find a good guitarist who knows how to use a looper, then go and buy superior drummer along with a decent laptop to store the beats and such on. Voila! You have a band =)
  11. I wish I had someone like you to start a band with.

    I'd be in heaven.

    I've been waiting 8 years for someone who wants to take a band as seriously as I do and is willing to do what you do for a band, but no one yet.
  12. mophead

    mophead Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Texas Panhandle
    You don't have to quit if you just stop being the taxi. If a guy doesn't have a job, a car, and his own stuff why would you even want them?
    Like others have posted, we have all been there and done that. Start looking for some other musicians who want to play and can actually get to a gig if needed. Even if you don't gig you can have some great jams at your place. Responsible folks will even bring their own drinks and water.
    Life is too short to mess with the bums.

    Just from several years of doing the same as you are, you will never get everyone to show up on time. If you say 7pm it will turn into 8 and so on. Haven't found the cure for that yet.
  13. I'm a rare bread haha. I take what I do seriously in any aspect of things I'm passionate about. I wish I knew people with the same drive. It just seems like everyone wants to be "the star" without putting in any work.
  14. Yeah I know, im actually putting the foot down on this. My vocalist lives 2 minutes away, so that doesnt bother me, he could walk if he needed to. So, for the other guy, he'll have to start finding rides. Some times they bring their stuff, and when they drink mine it doesnt bother me TOO much, its when they dont ask. As for the time, I had to start telling everyone practice was earlier than it was going to be, seems to work sometimes.
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Being in a band won't make you a professional musician or give you a long career. Band break up all the time, every day, once every 13 minutes. :D

    No. If they're your friends only because the "band", then they are not really your friends.

    Use all your former "band" time to practice on your own.

    Or start asking them to kick their share of buck$ for rehearsal, supplies, utilities and see how long that lasts? No $$? No band. That will kill this project immediately. Guaranteed.

    A band is a business and needs to be run as such. The better you play, the more skilled and serious musicians you'll be able to attract, especially with your setup that you have. Rehearsing people with lesser skills keeps your skills from improving with them. They can't teach you anything.

    Don't worry your "friends" will get over it. Don't give in. Time to move on musically.
  16. Lots and lots to think about. I appreciate all the responses so far.
  17. A business is a business... if you treat it like one.

    If you honestly like hanging out with these guys, give 'em rides and jam. Lay down some ground rules about respect and reciprocation.

    If you want to have a career, it sounds like you may need to reconsider.

    Do you trust the other guitarist? Loan him your guitar on gigs until he can take enough gig money to buy a decent set up. Maybe charge some interest. If gas money is getting drained, ask him for a $20 now and then to fill up.

    If you like the vocalist, keep him. You will probably have to have a serious dicussion with them about where everybody wants to go as a band. If they all want to go the same way you do, lay down some ground rules and some ethics. Sometimes people just need organization and a strong leader.

    If this is not the case, leave the band with no burnt bridges and no animosity. At that point, it is simply time for you to move on to a better business venture/musical outlet/whatever need you feel unsatisfied. Keep up your work ethic, find others who will do the same and have the same interest.
  18. Sixpack324


    Jan 10, 2012
    New Jersey
    Here's an opinion I haven't seen posted yet....

    You can be involved with more than one project.

    I have a group of friends that I've jammed with for almost 25 years. We have a GREAT time when we jam and hang out. Problem is, the "band" has some of the same issues as you describe....Lack of pro gear, lack of day jobs (1 of the guys), lack of ability to tell time (1 or 2 of them are always late), and most important: lack of drive to do what needs to be done in order for us to go to the next level. I realized looong ago that this "band" was going nowhere and I needed to move on, but I had the whole 'friendship' issue to deal with.

    My solution?

    I found another project to work with where the other musicians were just as dedicated as me. While I was playing/rehearsing/recording/gigging with the dedicated group, I still made time for the band of friends when and where I could. When schedule conflicts made me choose between the two, I chose the dedicated band. The band of friends really didn't mind too much when I had to cancel rehearsal so I could do what I had to do with the dedicated band, which made sense since they really weren't dedicated anyway.

    I've done this for a very long time, changing 'dedicated' bands multiple times over the years. It's the best of both worlds...I get to be part of a band that's got the dedication and drive AND I still get to jam with my friends. Since I started doing this, I actually have had a lot more fun with the band of friends. I'm a lot less frustrated with the situation because, since I have my dedicated band elsewhere, I have much lower expectations of the band of friends as well as a much more laid-back attitude regarding what the band of friends is all about.

    What's funny about all of this is the fact that in the last 25 years, I've been in 6 or 7 'dedicated' bands that all eventually broke up and went no where, but the jam sessions with the 'Band of Friends' has remained a constant.
  19. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    folks, even if you think of them as friends, will treat you pretty much how you let them....

    seems like you are trying to convince yourself that you aren't bothered by things, when you clearly are (otherwise why post multiple threads complaining about the same band?)

    you have a right to be bothered by them...voice your concerns directly and politely...like a man. They will either respect that or not...and that tells you all you need to know (imho, ime, ymmv)
  20. I'd look for new members to start something serious and keep jamming with your friends for fun once in a while. With all that you're offering it shouldn't be too hard to find some decent people to start a serious band with.

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